Lenovo’s Yoga series of laptops have always been excellent showpieces for the versatility of modern Windows operating systems. Fortunately, the Yoga 7i 14-Inch laptop (Yoga 7 14IAL7) also adds some surprising performance to its bag of tricks for a relatively low price of just $1199.99.
With support for touchscreen and pen input, as well various screen orientations (including tablet mode), Yoga laptops have a lot of use cases. When married to slick aesthetics, strong security features, a bevy of ports, outstanding battery life, and enough oomph to power through all kinds of productivity apps, you know this laptop is a winner.
Of course, there’s no such thing as perfection, and even with all of its strengths, there are still a few weaknesses that may give some potential buyers pause.
Getting Started: Saying Hello to Windows
- Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U, 1700 MHz, 10 Core(s), 12 Logical Processors
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5, 4800MHz
- Graphics: Intel(R) Iris(R) Xe Graphics
- Operating System: Windows 11 Home
- Hard Drive: 512GB SSD
The unboxing experience is unremarkable in that it’s simple and straightforward. In the box is the Yoga 7i 14-Inch laptop, 65W USB-C AC adapter, and a quick start User Guide. The quick start User Guide is little more than a port diagram and instructions on plugging in and powering on. Between the screen and keyboard is a tissue paper insert that tells you how to boot up your new laptop, switch performance modes, turn on or adjust the keyboard backlight, where the speakers are, and how to place the computer in its different orientations.
The quick start User Guide contains a QR code to scan with a more detailed combined online user guide for all Yoga 7 and 7i models. This online user guide provides additional information on the ports, the pre-installed Lenovo-specific apps and functionality, power management, and support.
As with most Windows laptops, you just have to power on to begin the guided Windows 11 Home setup. You can use the built-in webcam’s face recognition capability or the built-in fingerprint reader, or both, to login with Windows Hello. Of course, even with both of these options present, you’ll still need a pin code as a backup.
In setting up and using both the face recognition and fingerprint reader, I had no issues quickly logging in or confirming my identity with either option. It’s definitely a huge convenience having both secure login options onboard. Both the face recognition and fingerprint reader also work with various other apps through Windows Hello integration to greatly reduce your reliance on having to type in passwords manually.
Fit and Finish: Sleek and Professional
- Dimensions: 0.68 x 12.47 x 8.67in (17.35 x 316.66 x 220.25mm)
- Weight: 3.3lb (1.5kg)
- Display: 14-inch 2.2K LCD (2240 x 1400) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 300 nits, 100% sRGB, 60Hz, 16:10, Low Blue Light
- Audio: 4x speakers (2x 2W tweeter, 2x 2W woofer)
- Ports: HDMI 2.0 connector (full-size), 2x Multi-purpose USB Type-C connector (Thunderbolt 4-enabled), microSD card slot, Combo 3.5mm audio jack, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A connector (always-on)
The Stone Blue exterior of the Yoga 7i is sleek and professional looking. Under most environmental conditions, the exterior feels cool to the touch. Another plus is that the slightly matte finish resists fingerprints.
There’s a noticeable gap between the screen and the chassis of the laptop that distinguishes it from typical designs. The rotating hinges are smooth and robust, allowing the screen to be positioned securely at any angle, including completely folded like a tablet.
The large trackpad is smooth and responsive, with easy taps or full clicks to replicate left and right mouse buttons. Two finger scrolling works well to replicate a mouse’s scroll wheel. Although I’m personally not a fan of using a laptop’s trackpad to mouse around, even I have to admit that Lenovo’s implementation on the Yoga 7i is top-notch and all but eliminates the need to use a separate mouse or trackball.
The keyboard offers a soft, but relatively responsive typing experience, but I would have liked a faster key bounce back. I could feel a key tilt slightly if I didn’t hit it dead center, but this is not unusual for a laptop keyboard. Overall, it’s not the best laptop typing experience I’ve ever had, but has comfortably spaced keys and plenty of wrist-rest space despite the footprint of the oversized trackpad.
The top row function keys default to useful quick launch actions like volume up/down, brightness up/down, computer lock, launch calculator, screen snip, and more. Pressing the Function (FN) key gives you access to the secondary function of F1 – F12, as well as Insert and print screen (PrtSc).
Even with how relatively thin and light the laptop is, there’s no lack of useful ports. On the left side is a full-size HDMI 2.0 connector, 2 multi-purpose Thunderbolt 4-enabled USB-C ports, and a microSD card slot. On the right side of the laptop is a combo 3.5mm audio jack and USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A connector. The power button is located to the right of the USB 3.2 port.
Performance and Battery Life: Fast and Long-lived
- W-iFi 6E 802.11AX (2 x 2)
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Battery Type: 4-cell Lithium-ion polymer (integrated)
- AC Adapter: 65W, USB-C
The Yoga 7i took about an hour to fully charge with the included AC adapter from a 40% battery level. With Lenovo’s Rapid Charge Express feature, you can get approximately 3 hours of runtime from a 15-minute charge. Overall, maximum battery life on a full charge is up to 18 hours of video playback, or up to 16 hours of more mixed usage based on the MobileMark 2018 (MM18) battery-life benchmark.
Of course, for everyday use, which includes Wi-Fi, good screen brightness, and liberal use of web browsing and various productivity apps, battery life expectations are much lower. For instance, with my heavy usage and preference for a brighter screen, I was averaging just under six hours of battery life.
The laptop itself only needs 20V and 3.25A to run, so you have many options to replace the somewhat clunky AC adapter. In fact, you can use something like the UGREEN Nexode 65W USB-C Charger to match the 65W of the included AC adapter and give yourself two additional charging ports, especially if you don’t want to always charge other devices off of the Yoga 7i’s own USB-C and USB-A ports.
I installed and ran a bunch of my favorite apps, including Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Photoshop via Creative Cloud, Google Chrome, and Steam. Installations and setups were smooth and quick, highlighting the expeditious performance of the solid state drive, memory, and processor.
While I was pleased with the Lenovo Yoga 7i’s performance during everyday usage, I also ran three standard benchmarks on AC power to get a better sense of the system’s limits. These tests were also an easy way to really push the laptop’s internal fans to their max, which makes you appreciate how little they’re used under typical operating conditions.
The first test was with PCMark 10, which analyzes non-gaming performance like web browsing and productivity apps. The final averaged score was 5,251, which is better than 56% of all results and ranked higher than a 2020 gaming laptop (4,515) and a 2020 office laptop (4,611), but below a 2020 gaming desktop PC (6,739). As the data shows, this laptop makes a strong general home or office machine.
The second test was with 3DMark, which covers modern gaming performance. Although the integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics are not optimized for gaming, the Lenovo Yoga 7i scored a respectable average of 1,794 on the Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark. You won’t be able to run most of the latest high-performance games with respectable frame rates even below the laptop’s native 2440×1440 resolution, but with a few tweaks, slightly older games, or less graphically intensive games, should perform well.
For example, running games like Battlefield V, GTA V, and Fortnite at 1920×1080 resolution will garner an average frame rate of greater than 30 FPS, while trying to match the laptop’s native resolution will drop the average framerate well below 30 FPS. Some of the more demanding titles, like Red Dead Redemption 2, will average below 20 FPS even at a modest 1920×1080 resolution, making for a truly choppy gameplay experience.
The third and final test was with VRMark, which is a virtual reality (VR) benchmark. The Lenovo Yoga 7i is not advertised as a VR-capable laptop and its average score of 1,866 confirms that fact, with an estimated average performance of just 40 FPS when the target is at least 109 FPS.
Sights and Sounds: Colorful and Clear
- Display: 14-inch 2.2K LCD (2240×1400) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 300 nits, 100% sRGB, 60Hz, 16:10, Low Blue Light
- Audio: 4x speakers (2x 2W tweeter, 2x 2W woofer)
- Webcam: 1080p FHD IR Camera with Privacy Shutter
The built-in monitor is impressive, with rich colors and deep blacks. When viewed at an angle, the screen does darken a bit, but it’s a fair trade-off for such a pleasing straight-on experience. The glossy finish is prone to picking up reflections, so those who prefer a matte finish may be disappointed, but there’s no denying how vibrant everything is thanks in part to being Dolby Vision certified. It would be nice to have the display itself go closer to the edges as there’s a thin black border all around the screen, but it remains aesthetically pleasing.
The Yoga 7i is also optimized for Dolby Atmos audio, so this quality also extends to the sound. The four speakers, two on the top to the left and right of the keyboard and two directly underneath towards the front, pack a good punch.
Display: Sharp and Bright
Although 16:9 aspect ratios are the standard for TVs and some monitors, the Yoga 7i has a 16:10 aspect ratio with a resolution of 2240×1400. While 16:10 has less direct support in gaming, it does provide greater resolution within the 14-inch display size, playing to the Yoga 7i’s strengths with web browsing and productivity software.
The display is at its best when at maximum brightness and running off of the AC adapter. As someone who prefers bright screens over dim displays, I found the 100% brightness setting to be uniformly vibrant without blowing the colors out. Only when the screen dropped below 75% brightness did I find it uncomfortably dark. But again, as someone whose eye comfort is maximized with lots of light in the room and bright screens, this is to be expected.
On battery power, with the screen at the recommended 61% “Battery Saving” brightness using the included Lenovo Vantage device management software, the screen is noticeably dim, but still usable. I suspect many people could go down to as low as 55% without much discomfort, which of course extends the already stalwart battery life.
As you would expect, when used outside on a sunny day, screen visibility drops dramatically and the display effectively becomes a mirror. It’s a bit easier to see in the shade, but this is not the best laptop for outdoor use.
While general HDR is not supported, streaming full-screen HDR video is. With the right content, colors and brightness differences really pop, but it’s fair to say that even non-HDR content looks really nice as well thanks to Dolby Vision.
Connecting an external display is easy over either of the 2 USB-C ports, which support both Thunderbolt 4.0 and DisplayPort input. When used with a monitor like the INNOCN Ultrawide 40-Inch 40C1R that also provides power over its Type-C connection, the laptop can both display and charge with one cable.
When put into Stand, Tent, or Tablet modes, the keyboard and trackpad are disabled. This leaves the touchscreen and any external keyboard or mouse you may want to use as your primary input options. Of course, the screen can be placed at any angle, even completely flat, which is really convenient.
The responsiveness of the touchscreen is exceptional, but you can also add the optional Lenovo E-Color Pen ($79.99) if you want even finer, pressure-sensitive control. Unfortunately, there’s no place to store the pen in the laptop.
Audio: Good With Tweaks
The four built-in speakers sound good and have first-rate overall clarity for a laptop. Even at 40% volume, the speakers get quite loud. Depending on the audio content, the speakers do suffer from noticeably more distortion around the 60% mark, which can fill a good-sized room with sound. There’s not a lot of bass, but the default sound profile should still have sufficient punch to satisfy most ears without resorting to further adjustments.
In Windows 11, the Enhance Audio checkbox can be found under System > Sound > Properties.
The default Spatial sound type is Dolby Atmos for built-in speakers and, as is typical with that particular audio setting, it makes music sound flat without “Enhance Audio” set to on. With “Enhance Audio” on, music sounds superb. On the other hand, with or without the “Enhance Audio” setting enabled, movies and games sound excellent.
Microphone and Webcam: Hearing and Seeing Is Believing
The built-in microphone array, which is found to the left and right of the webcam, has good clarity and does a nice job of picking up the position of your voice even if move to the right or left of the laptop. As with the built-in speakers, the microphone array is no substitute for a good external solution, but you’ll have no trouble with most use cases.
The webcam, which creates a slight bump at the top of the screen, has a full HD resolution of 1920×1080 and works well in just about any lighting conditions. You can tell when the webcam is on thanks to its handy indicator light. Of course, if you want privacy, there’s a manual shutter, which is nice in theory, but something I found a bit difficult to open and close with shortly cropped fingernails.
Should You Buy the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14-Inch Laptop?
What makes a good general-purpose laptop? Key features are a great screen, keyboard, trackpad, battery life, and of course, performance. The Lenovo Yoga 7i not only offers leading examples of most of those features, it also has the added benefit of a touchscreen and the versatility to transform into Notebook, Stand, Tent, and Tablet modes.
If you don’t mind missing out on high-end gaming and VR applications, there’s little the Yoga 7i can’t handle. While some may take issue with the high gloss, and thus, high reflection screen, under most conditions the benefits in color saturation and clarity more than make up for the occasional glare.
With its high-performance components, highlighted by a robust processor, a good amount of RAM, and an impressive array of feature-packed ports, the $1199.99 price point goes down easy.